World Press Freedom Day was proclaimed by the UN General Assembly in December 1993, following the recommendation of UNESCO’s General Conference.
Since then, 3 May, the anniversary of the Declaration of Windhoek is celebrated worldwide as World Press Freedom Day. It is an opportunity to: celebrate the fundamental principles of press freedom; assess the state of press freedom throughout the world; defend the media from attacks on their independence; and pay tribute to journalists who have lost their lives in the line of duty.
In 2016, World Press Freedom Day coincides with three important milestones:
- The 250th anniversary of the world’s first freedom of information law, covering both modern-day Sweden and Finland
- The 25th anniversary of the adoption of the Windhoek Declaration of press freedom principles
- The year 2016 is also the first year of the 15 year life-cycle of the new Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)
This year’s WPFD focuses on three different aspects of press freedom:
- freedom of information as a fundamental freedom and as a human right
- protecting press freedom from censorship and surveillance overreach
- ensuring safety for journalism online and offline